Authorities in New Hampshire have shut down a camping area in the White Mountain National Forest after several campers reported seeing bears. It's a decision wildlife officials don't take lightly.
"We really don't want anybody to get hurt," said White Mountain National Forest Spokesman Steven Beri.
For the time being, families are prohibited from the dispersed camping area off Tripoli Road until authorities can redirect the bears and change the habits of campers.
"Dispersed camping means camping where you pull off the side of road and you find your own adventure," said Beri.
The primitive camping experience is one without any amenities allowing you to be closer to nature, but in this case, a little too close.
"It's easy for momma bear to get protective and aggressive in that situation," explained Beri.
He says families have been irresponsible with their food and trash and now a local momma bear and her cubs are getting more and more comfortable approaching campsites.
"Definitely a little bit scary. We don't want to have any encounters with bears," said nearby camper Paula Webb.
She and her daughter Kali were enjoying a snack at a campground a few miles away that area is still open.
"We pack everything up, we leave nothing with a scent out, and all food gets locked in the truck," said Webb.
She blames the problem on the people – not the bears.
"It's sad, this is their home," she said.
That's why authorities are calling on campers to do their part – lock up your food – pick up your trash and help protect the animals who live in the area.
"If things progress, relocation or euthanasia is sometimes an end result and we don't want it to get to that point," said Beri.
So for now, no families or food will be permitted along Tripoli Road until the bears start searching somewhere else.
"Hopefully, as time permits, the bears will unlearn this response and move on," said Beri.
Officials are hoping within the next week or two they'll be able to reopen the dispersed camping in the White Mountain National Forest.